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Made from the négociant side of the de Montille business which buys in grapes, Saint-Romain is a high-altitude Burgundy village which has benefitted from global warming. This is fresh and fragrant with aromas redolent of apples. It deliberately retains a lot of dissolved carbon dioxide, which keeps it fresh and allows less sulphur to be used, so we advise decanting, which will open up the aromas and release some of the carbon dioxide.
Product Code: BU73911
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Domaine de Montille makes some of Burgundy’s most exquisite wines, elegant, understated gems which possess haunting perfume and impressive length of flavour. They require and repay keeping to show their very best. Under the late Hubert de Montille (who came to wider prominence defending the terroir of Burgundy in the film Mondovino) the estate was famous for very fine, unchaptalised wines which could be somewhat austere when young. Hubert’s son, Etienne, took over the running of the estate in 2001, quitting his banking career which had led him abroad and then to Paris, to return to the family domaine in Volnay. Etienne is smart and energetic and has thoughtfully moved the family business along, looking particularly at three issues; ripeness, yields and extraction. Whilst Etienne’s wines are less austere in youth than his father’s, they have lost none of the innate elegance and purity associated with the domaine. Etienne has doubled the size of the domaine, which now has 17 hectares, with the addition to the long standing holdings in Volnays and Pommard of some Beaune premiers crus, Corton-Charlemagne and the Puligny-Montrachet premier cru Les Caillerets. More recently, he has ventured into the the Cote de Nuits with acquisitions in Clos de Vougeot and the Vosne-Romanée premier cru of Malconsorts. The new acreage necessitated bigger premises and the perfect cellar has been found in Meursault. Old, deep and well ventilated it is the ideal space for the unhurried maturation the wines of de Montille need. The estate is certified organic and is now farming biodynamically, illustrating their enormous respect for the environment. In the winery, Etienne will chaptalise a little if necessary and a decision is made each year as to whether to include stems or not. He is an advocate of whole bunch fermentation when the stems are ripe, believing the technique gives more floral character to the wines and a more complex mix of tannins. The wines are bottled after 14-18 months in barrel. Etienne shares his father’s abhorrence of excessive new wood, using none in the regional and village wines, and about 20-30% for premiers and grands crus.
The Côte de Beaune runs from Ladoix-Serrigny in the north to Cheilly lè Maranges in the south, on the southern escarpment of the Côte d’Or. Beaune is the town at its heart. The most famous wines of the area are white, but many excellent reds are produced. The soils of the area are predominantly mixtures of clay and limestone of various types, which is excellent for drainage but also retention of water. The hillsides here, split and riven by streams and side-valleys, provide a number of meso- and microclimates as well as various aspects ranging from east-facing to south and south-west facing. The best sites are neither at the top or the bottom of these slopes where the soils are too impoverished or too fertile respectively. More generic wines are produced at the top and bottom of these slopes, with the Premiers Crus and Grand Crus in a band running along the upper middle. Soils with more limestone suit chardonnay more than pinot, hence the number of famous white burgundies produced here.The climate here is semi-continental, though northerly winds can temper a hot summer while warmer winds from the south can bring warmth. Westerly winds that ultimately originate in the Atlantic can bring rain but at its worst may deliver devastating hail in incredibly localised storms. There is a degree of unpredictability about vintages in Burgundy.Pinot noir and chardonnay are the two permitted grapes of any significance, though Aligoté is grown occasionally for crisp, mouth-watering whites that are often used to make kir, and some generic Bourgogne or Crémant can be made with pinot blanc, pinot gris and beurrot can be made. The appellations to be found in the Côte de Beaune are as follows: Ladoix, Pernand-Vergelesses, Aloxe-Corton , Corton, Corton-Charlemagne, Chorey-lès-Beaune, Savigny-lès Beaune, Beaune, Pommard, Volnay, Monthélie, Auxey-Duresses, Saint-Romain, Meursault, Saint-Aubin, Puligny-Montrachet, Chassagne-Montrachet, Santenay and Maranges Côte de Beaune-Villages and Bourgogne-Hautes Côtes de Beaune are also made. The former is solely for red wines and the latter includes some whites as well. Both are mostly from vineyards on the top of the escarpment and some represent good value for early drinking Burgundy.Côte de Beaune wines are generally lighter than those from the Côte de Nuits. Beaunes are soft and round, Volnays fine and silky. Pommards are the exception: due to more clay in the soil, they can be notably tannic and in need of considerable bottle age. The greatest of all white Burgundies, Le Montrachet, is made here between Chassagne and Puligny.
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